NFL Weekly Predictions: Super Bowl LI
February 2, 2017 by Jeffrey Boswell • Print Story •
Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.
Atlanta vs. New England (-3)
The Falcons blew out the Packers 44-21 to end Green Bay's magical run and advance to their second Super Bowl. Matt Ryan passed for 367 yards and 4 touchdowns and added a rushing score, while Julio Jones had two TD receptions.
"One thing's for sure," Ryan said, "the Green Bay defense has no magical powers. Check that, they have one: they can make offense appear out of everywhere.
"You know if I rush for a score on you, your defense must be terrible. I may be the slowest person in the NFL. As a rookie, I ran a 40 and it took me over ten minutes. That's because I had to 'run a 40' from John Abraham's cooler to Roddy White's hand as part of a rookie hazing ritual.
"Now, I doubt the Patriots are afraid of my running ability, but I've got a curious feeling they'll put a spy on me anyway. Maybe even before the game.
"Sure the Patriots are favored, but we have the support of some of the best fans in the NFL. And our fan base is growing. Just the other day, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell made a huge jump. No, it wasn't to a conclusion, it was to the Falcons bandwagon.
"To beat the Patriots, we'll have to be at our best. And that means we'll need a big game from Julio Jones. Julio's toe is not an issue. I know that's hard to believe, because sometimes, his toe gets more media coverage than Julio himself does. Apparently, that's not changing, because new ESPN analyst Rex Ryan is planning a segment on Julio's toe. I can't wait to see that. Frankly, I'm salivating at the thought, and so is that foot fetish freak Ryan.
"Anyway, I think there's only one way Julio can be stopped, and that's if he distracts himself by Facebook live streaming his shenanigans from a yacht at Miami Beach."
Tom Brady passed for 3 touchdowns, two to Chris Hogan, and the Patriots defense shut down the Pittsburgh offense to beat the Steelers 36-17.
"We're 3-0 against the Steelers in conference championship games, Brady said. "We've instituted our own version of the 'Rooney Rule' on Pittsburgh, because we 'own' the Steelers.
"If we beat the Falcons, it will be very satisfying to have Roger Goddell hand me the Lombardi Trophy. Like earlier this season, I'll have no choice but to 'take it' from him.
"I'm looking to add another to a career full of crowning moments. Matt Ryan is looking for his first. Up until this point, Ryan's only crowning moment came when his mother birthed him.
"If there's a decided edge for us in this game, it's in experience. We have a roster full of players with playoff and Super Bowl experience. I think it's safe to say our veteran presence gives us an advantage. And I mean a huge advantage. My pal Donald Trump called it perfectly when he told me about his affinity for 'extreme vet-ting.'"
Injured Patriot Rob Gronkowski serves as one of New England's captains for the opening coin toss. Asked to call the toss by the referee, Gronkowski replies, "Heads and tails," obviously still obsessing about the number 69. Julian Edelman corrects Gronkowski and calls 'Tails," The coin lands on "Tails," and a grinning Gronkowski quips, "I'd like to give, and receive," thus setting a Super Bowl record with two references to '69' during the opening coin toss. The previous record was zero.
New England elects to receive, and the Pats effectively move the ball, as Brady enjoys a clean pocket and connects with four different receivers, including an 11-yard completion to Martellus Bennett to the Atlanta 1-yard line. LeGarrette Blount bulls his way in for the touchdown, and that spells bad news for the Falcons. The news gets even worse for the Falcons when Blount spikes the ball with such force that it doesn't even bounce, a clear indication that there is an inflation issue with the ball.
The Falcons come right back, and drive to the Patriots 13-yard line, where their drive stalls, and Matt Bryant kicks a 28-yard field goal.
The Patriots enter halftime with a 20-13 lead.
At halftime, Lady GaGa takes center stage gives a shout out to Antonio Brown before launching into her 2009 hit "Telephone."
GaGa is then joined onstage by the members of Aaron Rodgers' family for an emotional performance of "Bad Romance."
GaGa then offers her tribute to Charles Barkley, running stop signs, and oral sex called "Poke 'Er Face."
Seattle's Michael Bennett, dapper in a tuxedo with limited shoulder padding, then joins GaGa on stage, and the two perform a touching duet of "I'll Jump Offsides (For You)."
GaGa then rips off Bennett's slacks, revealing a sausage, which stuns the NRG Stadium crowd and millions of viewers worldwide. That is, until they realize the craftily staged wardrobe malfunction is no wardrobe malfunction after all, and is instead a well-staged homage to GaGa's "meat dress," worn at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards.
For the finale, GaGa is joined onstage by Jon "Bowser" Bauman, and the supergroup "ShaGaGa" is born. The two are joined onstage by the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders for a rousing rendition of "Romo's Not a Ding-Dong."
The Falcons take the second half kickoff and unveil their finest trick play, a double-reverse flea flicker that ends with Julio Jones tossing a 33-yard TD strike to Mohamed Sanu. Sanu is flagged for excessive celebration when, during his TD celebration, he utilizes a prop, his green card.
Sanu then presents the ball to none other than entertainer Tyler Perry, who rejoices in the end zone seats wearing full Falcons regalia. Donald Trump reacts to the spectacle immediately, with a tweet that reads, "See! Biased Madea! #ILoveBeingExtremelyRight."
In the end, the Falcons give Brady too much time to throw, and the Patriots defense takes away any chance of a big play for the Falcons. Brady finds Edelman for a late score, and Chris Long recovers a Ryan fumble to close out the win.
New England wins, 35-27.